The Fairhill neighborhood in Philadelphia has been selected by the Philadelphia Vision Zero Program for their Neighborhood Slow Zone initiative. Over 28 communities applied for the program and the Fairhill Slow Zone was one of two neighborhoods selected. The other slow zone is in the Willard Elementary School neighborhood. The goal of the Slow Zone initiative is to reduce accidents and injury in vulnerable areas of the city. The selection criteria was based on accident history, vulnerability of pedestrians, and communities that generate pedestrian activity, such as libraries, schools, and health centers. An open house to discuss ideas and concerns was held for neighbors living inside the Fairhill Slow Zone. The open house took place on June 12th at the Rivera Rec Center. Discussed at the meeting were general slow zone concerns, which included excessive driver speeds, missing or poorly maintained crosswalks, drivers who fail to yield to people walking and poor visibility because of illegal parking.
The Fairhill Neighborhood Slow Zone Program supports Philadelphia’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2030. The Vision Zero Slow Zone initiative will add progressive street design and traffic calming strategies. Taken from the Vision Zero Fairhill Slow Zone Plan, the image below reveals the “zone” that will see improvement in the Fairhill Slow Zone area.
Parking in the street, uneven pavement and insufficient street lighting cause poor visibility when walking in the Fairhill neighborhood. This, coupled with the cracked and sunken sidewalks, makes for hazardous walking conditions. Crashes with injury have been reported on North 3rd Street, West Tioga Street, North Philip Street, Ontario Street, and North Bodine Street. Crashes with serious injury have been reported on North American Street and West Westmoreland St., across from Munoz-Marin Luis Elementary School.
The perimeter of the Fairhill Slow Zone encompasses West Glenwood Ave, North 5th St., West Allegheny Ave., and North 2nd Street. “Gateways” will be added to clearly mark the beginning of the Fairhill Neighborhood. These Gateways will consist of 20 MPH signs and pavement marking, high-visibility crosswalks and corner clearances.
Speed limit signs and raised crosswalks will also be added to the area, which elevate pedestrians walking and therefore increases their visibility as they cross the street. Markings will also be improved throughout the Fairhill Slow Zone area. The total reconstruction plan will cost close to $500,000.
We are happy for the Fairhill neighborhood and are looking forward to keeping an eye on the progress of the Fairhill Slow Zone project!
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